Digital health experts from across the UK are joining forces to study the potential for new monitoring technologies to support children with asthma.
The Technology Enhanced integrAted asthMa care (TEAM-care) project brings together specialists from the University of Plymouth, King’s College London and Queen Mary University London.
Funded by £1.9 million from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) i4i Challenge Awards, they will examine the performance of two commercial products, Wheezo and Propellor Health.
The apps are designed to help children and their carers manage their asthma better between visits to the doctor. It is also hoped they will contribute to improving asthma care so that children can avoid needing emergency treatment.
Dr Edward Meinert, Associate Professor of eHealth at the University of Plymouth, will be leading the evaluation of the technology. He said:
“With such a high number of children suffering from asthma in the UK, it is important that we find new ways of helping them and their parents manage their condition. We hope that the results of this evaluation will help establish a digital pathway that is both easy to use and effective in improving outcomes for children with asthma.”
NHS England figures show that over 1 million children are currently being treated for asthma in the UK. The country also has one of the highest prevalence, emergency admission and death rates for childhood asthma in Europe.
The TEAM-care project aims to address that and set a gold standard for evidence-based, digital interventions to help children, families and healthcare professionals control and reduce the risks of asthma.
The project team will trial the apps in close collaboration with children, parents and carers.
They will test how easy the apps are to use, as well as how they affect the day-to-day managing of a child’s asthma. This will help them to make any necessary improvements as and when difficulties arise.
The main outcome of the trial is to prevent emergency care and other health service use. In turn, this will not just help prevent deaths but also reduce family stress and improve school attendance and participation while reducing NHS costs.